Window tank test results this morning: no Ammonia, higher Nitrites at 2.0 it's getting somewhere!
Sifted out my worm bin this past week. I'm getting more efficient: it only took two sittings. Probably helped that I had left the bin unfed for several weeks so the worms processed more of the bedding and it also dried out some. Which made the stuff more crumbly and easy to sift. But the worms suffered, their bodies short, tacky and slow. I got an entire five-gallon bucket full of vermicompost. Started the new bin with three or four inches of damp coardboard chips on the bottom and all the picked-out worms and old unfinished bedding pieces, topped off with more fresh cardboard and it's almost full again.
The surprise was when I investigated a slight odor from the bucket a day later- lidded so it wouldn't dry up but waiting to get applied on the lawn and garden. I wasn't as meticulous this time about picking out every single worm and bedding fragment that made it through the sifter, so I knew there were some worms in the bucket- I don't mind sacrificing them to the garden. But when I opened the lid again found a good two or three dozen worms up the one bare inch of bucket side above the compost, trying to escape. Of course, heavy waste material toxic to them. I'd never seen them all crawl out like this before. Returned them to the home bin- may be too late for many of them though.
Time to spread richness on the garden. And then my next big task is to turn the outside compost pile and start feeding plants around the yard. Rhubarb is up! under a plastic cloche now to shelter against the chill- I haven't bothered to cover any other plants...